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Title: Sir Richard Bourke
Contributor(s): Bongiorno, Frank Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: Richard Bourke has figured in NSW history as the epitome of the "good Governor", recalled as a kindly friend to the people in their struggles against official tyranny and the greed and snobbery of an exclusive caste. In this story, Bourke played the part of midwife in the birth of a modern, secular, democratic and free society. A reaction was perhaps inevitable: and as a new generation of academic historians cast a more sceptical eye over Australian colonial history after the Second World War, an exercise in the debunking of Bourke's heroic reputation followed. More recently, scholars have moved beyond any simple dichotomy of "good" and "bad" Governors, laying greater emphasis on Bourke's Whig ideology, his symbolic performance of authority, the influence of Irishness, the Imperial span of his career, and the role of religion, kin and patronage networks in shaping its contours. Bourke's service in New South Wales constituted just six years in a long life as a reforming landowner, soldier and Imperial administrator. While this chapter will necessarily emphasise his Australian career, in making explicit connections with other phases it will suggest that New South Wales of the 1830s belonged to a "British World" partly constituted by administrators like him as they pursued Imperial service across the globe.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The Governors of New South Wales 1788-2010, p. 167-188
Publisher: Federation Press
Place of Publication: Annandale, Australia
ISBN: 1862877432
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 950503 Understanding Australias Past
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): David Clune and Ken Turner
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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